Dr. Sheikh DDS practices
in the following areas:
Intra Oral Cameras
24 Hour Emergency Phone Service
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is riot otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
A filling helps to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape, and helps prevent further decay by eliminating areas where bacteria can enter the tooth. Your dentist will consider a number of factors when choosing which type of filling material is best for you; this includes the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain dental materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost.
There are various types of fillings available including:
A composite resin filling is made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles and matches the color of the tooth. Thus, composite fillings are used most often on front teeth or the visible parts of the tooth. Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, reducing the drilling needed (like for a amalgam filling) and they are stronger than amalgam fillings.
Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals including mercury and silver, and thus doesn’t match the color of your teeth. This type of filling is used most often for fillings in the back teeth. These fillings are very strong and usually last at least ten years if not longer
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
Children and teenagers — As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16. Adults — Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions. Baby teeth — Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone. What do sealants involve?
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.
The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.
Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.
Root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp) and cleaning and disinfecting it, then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma to it. The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root.
Decades ago, root canal treatments were painful. With dental advances and local anesthetics, most people have little if any pain with a root canal today.
Types of Extractions
There are two types of extractions: simple and surgical. A simple extraction is performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth. These can be performed by a general dentist, using local anesthesia.
A surgical extraction is more complex and involves the removal of a tooth that cannot easily be seen or reached, either because it has not fully erupted or it has broken off at the gum line. The procedure can be performed by a general dentist, but is most commonly completed by an oral surgeon. During a surgical extraction, we will make an incision in your gum and may remove bone around the tooth, or segment the tooth into smaller pieces for removal.
A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures:
Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch. Enhancing smile and facial tissues. Improving chewing, speech, and digestion. What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
Breakthroughs in modern dentistry now allow for what are called removable partial dentures (RPD’s) that are flexible and more esthetically pleasing than more traditional dentures. These partial dentures are a great alternative for patients who prefer to wear a removable denture rather than a fixed restoration such as a dental bridge or dental implants. The flexible base of the appliance adapts to the constant movement and flexibility in the mouth. Flexible partial dentures are custom fabricated in a dental laboratory according to the specifications your dentist provides. They can only be placed by a licensed dentist after an impression of your mouth has been taken, and are only available by prescription. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, the flexible partials involve a very simple preparation and your natural teeth don’t need to be altered in any way. Additionally the materials used in the flexible partials blend with the tissue in your mouth for a look that is completely natural.
The light weight and inherent flexibility of the partials makes the adjustment period easy. Most patients become accustomed to their new dental restoration immediately. In the event that you have never worn a dental appliance before, it may take a bit more time to adjust to the flexible partials. If constant irritation persists, contact your dentist so that they may make the necessary changes to your appliance.
Besides improving the esthetic and functional appearance of your mouth, flexible partials also offer other great benefits. They are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. Because there are no metal clasps they are virtually invisible and blend right in with the natural color of the tissue in your mouth so no one has to know you’re wearing it.
Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants. There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, your dentist can only remove a fixed bridge.
Porcelain, metal or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances. Crowns Crowns or caps, usually made of a material like porcelain with metal, placed on the top of a tooth.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
The benefits of X-rays are well known: They help dentists diagnose common problems, such as cavities, gum disease and some types of infections. Radiographs allow dentists to see inside a tooth and beneath the gums to assess the health of the bone and supporting tissues that hold teeth in place.
There are a number of X-rays a dental professional can order. The type of X-ray needed will depend greatly on the type of care the patient needs to receive. Here are some of the most common types of X-rays performed: Periapical Provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown to the bone that helps to support the tooth.
Offers a visual of both the lower and upper posterior teeth. This type of X-ray shows the dentist how these teeth touch one another (or occlude) and helps to determine if decay is present between back teeth.
Shows a view of the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses and the joints of the jaw, and is usually taken when a patient may need orthodontic treatment or implant placement. Veneers Teeth that are badly stained, shaped or crooked may be improved by a veneer placed on the surface of the affected teeth.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic cemented over the front of your teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked. Little or no anesthesia is needed. Veneers have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding, and highly resist permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking.
Veneers are usually made by a dental lab technician working from a model provided by your dentist. Veneers are usually irreversible because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.
Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers.